Teaching Philosophy

My door is always open, and I welcome all forms of interaction with you. We can discuss "virtually" (cshleung@comp.polyu.edu.hk) or by telephone (2766-7252), or face-to-face in class or in my office (PQ817).

Word of Wisdom on Teaching
A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. The teacher who has come to the end of his subject, who has no living traffic with his knowledge but merely repeats his lesson to his students, can only load their minds, he cannot quicken them.

Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1913)

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.


Education is a social process ... Education is growth ... Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.

John Dewey

There are four central elements of my philosophy of teaching:

  • The content of the course must not only reflect the state of practice and knowledge, but it must also be useful to, and applicable by, the learner.
  • Learning must be based in theory, and be grounded in learner's experience outside the classroom.
  • Teaching is identifying ways to help learners to learn rather than "covering the content."
  • Learning should be fun.

As a teacher, I believe that knowledge of subject matter is only the first step toward good teaching. Without effective communication, a mastery of knowledge in a particular subject area is of little use. Consequently, while I strive to keep current within my discipline, I am also constantly looking for ways to become more effective by improving my communication skill and trying out new teaching techniques.